Record cold likely for Houston on Tuesday night

It’s cold—but not extremely cold—across the Houston region this morning. Although wind chill temperatures are in the teens, the mercury has generally remained in the upper 20s for most of Houston during the overnight hours due to persistent cloud cover that has helped the surface retain some of its heat. That should change Tuesday night, with clearer skies allowing for colder overnight temperatures.


On New Year’s Day, the high of just 41 degrees gave Houston its coldest daytime temperature since Jan. 10, 2015. We’ll probably be colder today as skies remain partly to mostly cloudy for Houston, and limit highs to the upper 30s. For coastal areas, there is also a slight chance of sleet today, but we aren’t worried about any kind of freezing precipitation accumulation. For one, much of the sleet is likely to evaporate before reaching the ground. And secondly, temperatures along the coast will be sufficiently above freezing today.

Low temperature forecast for Tuesday night. (National Weather Service)

As skies clear across the region tonight we’ll see ideal weather for radiational cooling, and this is when we expect to see very cold overnight lows ranging from about 20 degrees for far inland areas to 30 degrees along the coast. Houston’s record low temperatures for January 3rd is 25 degrees, and I believe we will definitely threaten that at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Wednesday and Thursday

For the first time in awhile, sunshine returns in abundance to the Houston area. We’ll see mostly sunny days on Wednesday and Thursday, with highs in the mid- to upper-40s. Nights will remain cold—lows in the upper 20s are possible for inland areas on Wednesday night—but in terms of cold the worst is over for Houston. And the sunshine will be delightful.

Friday and Saturday

Sunny conditions continue, for the most part. As a result highs on Friday should rise into the 50s, and Saturday could see a high of around 60 degrees. This will feel positively balmy as Houston has not seen a high temperature of 60 degrees since Christmas Eve.

The cold weather will be gone by this weekend. (Weather Bell)

Sunday and beyond

Sunday and Monday look warmer, as moist air from the Gulf of Mexico returns. This should allow high temperatures to bounce back to around 70 degrees, and will bring with it a chance of rain along with increasing cloud cover. A weaker front early next week should keep highs in the 60s for most of next week, with nothing too extreme on the horizon.

Houston marathon

I’ll have a post this afternoon—and every afternoon this week—providing a forecast for the Chevron Houston Marathon on Jan. 14th.

13 thoughts on “Record cold likely for Houston on Tuesday night

  1. lee

    The last week has brought us what i’d call absolutely perfect Christmas weather, and last night snuggling under a pile of blankets was just pure bliss. Wish we could have a whole January of sub-40F temps. This is wonderful. MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!

  2. Chuck

    Once again, you guys pretty much nailed the forecast, down to low temps moderated b cloud cover.

    BTW, if anyone had indoor water flow slow down due to ice in pipes (without burst pipes!), leave a couple faucets on slow drip. Even a slight flow thru the pipes will prevent a complete blockage and possible nasty burst.

  3. Inquiring Minds

    Could you please re-address the relationship between wind chill and actual temperature. Specifically “Can pipes freeze if the temperature remains above freezing, but the wind chill goes below freezing?” I saw some pretty crazy descriptions floating around.

  4. Jason

    I can’t believe that this is the coldest weather since January 2015. Just last New Years, very early in 2017, there was a cold weekend. I remember all my plants got messed up and still haven’t recovered over the summer of 2017, and I remember that my water froze and slowed to a trickle. I left it running at a trickle and my water bill was about 180 dollars, and what a waste of good water. Hard to believe that in the old days when Houston had cold winters all the time, and usually was only in the 20s all winter, that people built houses that could freeze so easily. It is no fun to have use a bucket because your toilet is now a skating rink for the roaches. Life in Houston pre-global warming must have been quite arduous.

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